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Wednesday 23 March 2016

This Month in your Garden - April

Oh, to be in England, now that April’s there.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

It’s certainly the month to inspire and plant for colour, especially if you started early sowing of hardy annuals which are ready to be planted out. Plant summer flowering bulbs, lilies for example, in containers or pots you can move around or prepare soil to give the bulbs good drainage.

We’ve had some cold nights in March so still watch for frosts and protect susceptible plants with fleece or cloches. If you haven’t grown modules of plants in February or March, consider buying plug plants to save money on bedding. Herbaceous perennials will be putting on growth so they need planting out.

There’s more than enough to do with weeding, keeping an eye out for pests such as greenfly, lugs and snails, pruning, pricking out and potting on seedlings but do take a moment to deadhead naturalized bulbs such as daffodils before they form seed heads. Tie in climbing and rambling roses and stake tall perennials as they come through. If you have kept dahlia tubers through winter, divide them now and pot them on. Lift and divide perennial plants to give them more vigour and spread your display. Feed roses with a dressing of compound fertilizer. If you have a pond now is the time to start attending to it.

  • Plant alpines
  • Sow sweet peas outside and plant out autumn sown sweet peas grown in pots
  • Plant herbaceous perennials – Geranium, Oriental poppies
  • Sow hardy annuals in pots or modules or directly in the soil
  • Tie in Honeysuckle and Clematis
  • Plant hardwood cuttings taken last year
  • Apply general purpose fertilizer to borders and beds
  • Hoe borders to clear weeds developing
  • Divide Hostas 
  •  Plant out strawberry beds
  • Plant Gladioli for succession

Prune hardy fuchsias, Buddleia, Hydrangea, Leycesteria, Caryopteris, cornus (dogwood) and salix (willow). Prune evergreen shrubs, hedges, topiary and trim formal hedges

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